Hervé J. Fabre, born in Bordeaux, arrived in Argentina in the early 1990s when Malbec was viewed as little more than a blending partner.
Seeing the incredible potential of the Argentine terroir, Hervé bought a number of Argentina’s oldest Malbec vineyards (planted in 1908) and in 1992 he built his first winery, Fabre Montmayou, in Luján de Cuyo, near Mendoza.
His Bordeaux background dictates an elegance and subtlety to his winemaking, and since 1992 he has dedicated all his savoir-faire and passion to his wines, being the first winemaker to elaborate a single varietal Malbec in Argentina.
After identifying a number of different vineyard sites in the Valle de Uco which offered perfect conditions for Malbec and other varieties, Hervé launched Viñalba in 2007 producing wines which are the most faithful expression of these terroirs.
Hervé is constantly exploring new styles of Malbec-based wines, meticulously crafting the wines from the vineyard to the winery to ensure that every step of the process is carried out to his instruction.
His wife Diane takes control once the wine is ready to be shipped to customers. She looks after everything from corks to customers and beyond. It is this partnership which brings Viñalba to life!
Mendoza is Argentina’s foremost wine producing province and the heart of its wine trade. More than 80% of all Argentinian wine is produced is this province. Divided in five sub regions, Mendoza features an enviable array of grape varieties, soils and altitudes (from 500 to 1800m above sea level), as well as a very long, dry and mild autumn making it a winemaker’s paradise.
The Valley de Uco is probably one of the most exciting regions of Mendoza, with the highest altitude vineyards (1,700m above sea level) and an impressive terroir.
This is a relatively new wine-making region with vineyards being planted from 1980s onwards. Fast becoming an important, prestigious and highly sought after area, Hervé and Diane have already planted more vineyards in the Gualtallary area of this region.
The soil was formed during the Quaternary period, by alluvial erosions of The Andes Mountains, creating poor, stony, and calcareous soils, with good drainage and structure. Gualtallary has a great slope stretching from West to East, which carries water coming from rains and frosts, without affecting the natural quality of grapes. The altitude of Gualtallary provides wide temperature ranges and cooling breezes during the ripening period, extending the cycle, creating wines with character and personality.
Patagonia is a region covering the southernmost portion of the South American continent and lies on both the Chilean and Argentine sides of the Andes mountains. Patagonia has gained recognition for its wines from the Río Negro and Neuquen areas on the Argentine side.
Viñalba vineyards lie between the Andes Mountains and the Atlantic Ocean in the Alto Valle of the Río Negro area.
Río Negro is the most southerly of Argentina’s wine regions, lying at a latitude of 39 degrees south and has a similar climate to the Northern Rhône in France.
Viñalba’s Patagonian wines tend to have their own distinctive character and strong structure. The Antarctic influences keep the temperatures low but the winds prevent diseases in the vineyards. There are some fantastic wines produced in Patagonia and the area is fast gaining recognition as a premium wine region.